High Tide

High Tide : News from a Warming World

  • Hardback
By (author) Mark Lynas

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The 'No Logo' of climate change? -- a book that shows how global warming is not something whose existence we should still debate, but something that has already happened, to many millions of people in a variety of ways, causing flooding, desertificaton, icemelt, erosion, drought and fires all across the world. Climate change is no longer a concern for the future. It's happening right now, and in this book the author takes us around the world to show that the impacts of global warming are already having a tangible effect on people's lives. From houses being washed over by sand in China to the thawing of the Alaskan Arctic, the author witnesses some of the worst impacts of climate change at first hand. Some, like the floods in the UK, are near home. Others -- like the drowning Pacific island of Tuvalu -- are a world away from the car tailpipes and factory chimneys that are causing global warming in the first place. But this isn't simply an inventory of disaster, it's a wry look at how people around the globe are coping as the world they've always known changes at unprecedented speed. And in the process, the author has to eat whale blubber in Alaska, swim in shark-infested waters off the Great Barrier Reef and struggle to the top of Andean peaks in Peru. Alongside the issue of the effects of rootless, lawless transnational capitalism, the already catastrophic man-made alterations to the global ecosystem will rise, like the oceans, to engulf all other issues worldwide in the coming decades. There is a new 21st century generation of activists being educated right now who will be their blithe, apolitical, party-animal predecessors' salvation. They have one bible already. This is the other one! This, obviously, is an issue that is only going to be more and more present to more and more of us. And this is that issue's indispensable book.

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  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162 x 225 x 33mm | 682g
  • 01 Mar 2004
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Flamingo
  • London
  • 22 b/w plates (16pp), With index
  • 000713939X
  • 9780007139392

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Author Information

mark lynas is an activist, journalist and traveller, based in Oxford. He was editor of the website www.oneworld.net, has been involved in protests against GM crops, road-building, Manchester's second runway etc, and as a result has made many appearances in the press and TV as a commentator on environmental issues. He also throws custard pies at lunatics who pronounce global warming a fantasy.

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Review quote

'With "High Tide", Mark Lynas has given us a tremendous gift: he has time-travelled into our terrifying collective future, a future that has already arrived in the farthest reaches of the globe. Go with him on this breathtaking, beautifully told journey -- to island nations being engulfed by rising tides, to towns swallowed by encroaching desert, to glaciers melting into oceans -- and I promise that you will come back changed, determined to alter the course of history.' Naomi Klein, author of 'No Logo'

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Review text

The sky is falling, and no one seems to be noticing. At least, no one around these parts. According to British journalist Lynas, "a 2001 survey found that only 15% of US citizens correctly identified fossil fuel-burning as the primary cause of global warming-far behind Mexico, with 26% getting the right answer, and just behind Cuba, with 17%." Despite the gainsaying of First World governments and rightist think tanks, global warming is, Lynas argues, an indisputable reality: there is no other good way to explain phenomena such as the disappearance of Oceanic atolls, overwhelmed by rising seas, and the ongoing inundation of the British Isles, swept by flood-inducing rainstorms at levels not seen since the time when weather records were first kept. Is there a smoking gun? Perhaps no readily visible one, Lynas admits, but the circumstantial evidence points strongly to Western industrial lifestyles. Traveling the globe, calling on places such as Aberdeen, Tuvalu, Beijing, and Tallahassee, Lynas gathers opinions, evidence, and sightings, talks with atmospheric scientists and ordinary citizens, and assembles some disturbing arguments: at the end of the present century, he prophesies, the world sea level will have risen by a meter, flooding fertile river deltas and putting millions, and possibly billions, of people at risk. "Although the most valuable real estate in places like Manhattan or Miami is likely to be protected by sea walls for the foreseeable future," he wryly notes, "it will be impossible to enclose all the world's affected areas with concrete." And what is to be done? There are no surprises in Lynas's recommendations: approve and enforce the Kyoto Protocol, stop drilling for oil, reduce the industrial production of greenhouse gases, drive less-and make sure everyone knows that the sky is falling. For all environmental activists/educators-and those new to the ongoing debate about global climate change. (Kirkus Reviews)

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